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With a prize pool of $2.34m, the $5,300 buy-in Texas Poker Championship saw former WPT Winner James Carroll win the top prize of $455,860. Carroll, a hugely popular pro, beat Nicholas Howard heads-up to claim the title after an entertaining final table. One element that added to the atmosphere of the occasion was the live staking that was possible throughout the Main Event. Raising the Stakes Taking place in Houston, Texas, the Prime Social Texas Poker Championship Main Event saw ClubGG offer direct satellites to the events through the subscription poker platform. Pocket Fives then provided live staking for players. It was as simple as visiting the cash desk and putting down the money. “The event was great,” says James Bridgeman, Public Relations and Sponsorship Manager for GGAlliance. It ran smoothly, made all the guarantees and there was a really good vibe from players in the room along with all the staff, dealers and servers. I chatted with a lot of local regulars and out of towners. They were all in positive spirits whether they busted with no cash or ran deep.” Bridgeman met several players who were staked live and while they busted before the money, they were appreciative of the experience. “I met someone from a side event who min-cashed and was definitely happy about it,” he said. “From the Main Event, three or four qualifiers made Day 2. On the staking, it was the same attitude. We had five stakers in the Main Event; none cashed, but all enjoyed it and gave a fun sweat to their friends and followers.” There certainly seemed to be a great atmosphere in the room when PokerNews arrived at the venue during the tournament as part of their tour of the Lone Star State. https://twitter.com/PokerNews/status/1508933386311712768 “ClubGG Qualifiers are all excited that we have announced more Prime Social events,” says Bridgeman. “Everyone working at Prime Social made it very easy for qualifiers, they also had chip tracking throughout events and highlighted ClubGG Qualifiers, as well as those who used staking to make an even more memorable experience for them. In regards to PocketFives Staking, players really like the transparency and how easy it is, also no fees compared to competitors is obviously great. Staking worked really smoothly.” Prime Social ‘Very Happy’ With Event From the club’s own perspective, Justin Hammer, Tournament Director at the club, has had a chance to rest and reflect in the three days since the event. He’s delighted to report how pleased the club was with the live staking and how players enjoyed it. “It feels really good to accomplish what we did as an up-and-coming club. I’m very happy about it,” he told us. “Live staking was huge! We only had it for the Main Event, but the ability to sell some action for those who won seats or just wanted less exposure was very beneficial. There’s nothing to lose if they put up a package that doesn’t sell, so everyone had the opportunity to try to play at a discount.” With great communication between the cash desk and staking players, which there was, the whole process proved ‘seamless’ across the event. There was a friendly, fun atmosphere during most of the series, things only getting serious when the Main reached the final table. “Things really tightened up and most players seemed pretty focused. James Carroll won the event of course - a great player. Having a popular player helps draw attention, which is nice. Whoever wins creates a good story somehow though. I’m never really rooting for a particular player, just that things run smoothly. From the feedback I’ve received, it really seems like we accomplished that goal.” The Players Perspective When it came to the event from a player’s perspective, Jason Daly had a great time, finishing in fifth place for $125,350, the first six-figure score to be awarded at the final table. “I thought the event was great,” he said today. “[Justin] Hammer and his staff do a really amazing job. I can’t say enough about how well the staff treat the players from the dealers to the floor staff. I do wish the live stream would have been delayed longer as I felt I was little bit disadvantaged by the short delay and some of the peoples hole cards not reading in some key spots. But overall, it was a nice experience.” Daly rated the players he came up against very highly, declaring it ‘the toughest field ever in Texas’ without question. “The level of competition was outstanding,” he says. “The structure was the best I’ve ever played outside of the [WSOP] Main Event and you could really tell the best players rose to the final 30 or so. I was really happy that James won if I couldn’t; he’s such a nice guy and class act. He really represents poker well.” “James has been around for a long time and I have a lot of respect for his game,” added eighth-placed Justin Saliba. “He’s a strong player and never afraid to go for it in big spots, so it’s always a fun challenge battling with him.” After Daly’s exit in fifth, Jorge Gomez finished fourth before an epic three-handed battle that raged until midnight, when Benjamin Keiley left in third place. That bust-out saw Nicholas Howard go into the final duel with a big chip lead, holding 19.9 million to James Carroll’s 4.5 million. Carroll came back like the professional he is, winning the top prize of $455,860, along with the coveted winners trophy and Exquisite Timepieces watch. With an entertaining event further improved by the live staking element on offer, could Prime Social’s event be a template for many more live staking experiences to come? The days of registering without taking a look at the players you can invest in as well as yourself may soon be a thing of the past if the slick operation in Houston is replicated across America. Prime Social Texas Poker Championship Final Table Results: James Carroll - $455,860 Nicholas Howard - $303,930 Benjamin Keiley - $223,580 Jorge Gomez - $166,420 Jason Daly - $125,350 Andrew Ostapchenko - $95,570 Jeremy Harvey - $73,750 Justin Saliba - $57,620 Viet Vo - $45,590
Just one day after finishing as runner-up to Jake Daniels in Event #3 of the 2022 PokerGO Cup, Jeremy Ausmus was back at the final table in Event #4 ($15,000 NLHE), only this time he went the distance and topped the 65-entry field for the win and a $263,250 payday. Ausmus started the day near the bottom of the chip counts, but didn’t have to wait very long for his opportunity to chip up. With the blinds at 25,000/50,000 (50,000 ante) Justin Saliba put in a raise to 100,000 from the cutoff with the [poker card="jh"][poker card="jc"]. Ausmus picked up the [poker card="ts"][poker card="td"] on the button and three-bet shipped his final 755,000. After Bill Klein folded his small blind, table short stack Jesse Lonis looked down at [poker card="as"][poker card="ac"] and called for the rest of his 660,000 stack. Faced with two all-in, Saliba went for the double KO and called with his pocket jacks. The three saw a flop of [poker card="th"][poker card="8d"][poker card="4d"] sending Ausmus from worst to first with a set of tens. The [poker card="6s"] hit the turn and when the [poker card="5h"] completed the board, Ausmus nearly tripled up and Lonis was headed for the door, aces cracked, in sixth place for $58,500. Ausmus then overtook Brock Wilson for the chip lead, leaving Saliba as the new short stack. During the next level, 30,000/60,000 (60,000 ante), Wilson opened from the button to 140,000. Saliba picked up [poker card="ah"][poker card="ks"] in the small blind and committed his final four big blinds. Wilson made the call, putting Saliba at risk. The flop came [poker card="qc"][poker card="qh"][poker card="4d"], keeping Saliba ahead but providing some chop opportunities. Everything changed with Wilson binked the [poker card="jh"] on the turn to take the lead. Saliba was drawing to a king, but the [poker card="4c"] came on the river ending his tournament in fifth place for $78,000. During the same level, Klein was sitting with fewer than 10 big blinds and was looking to find a way back up the leaderboard. After Wilson put in a raise to 120,000 from under the gun with [poker card="jc"][poker card="9d"], Klein moved all-in from the small blind for 480,000 with his [poker card="kd"][poker card="td"]. Cary Katz woke up with the [poker card="ac"][poker card="qc"] in the big blind and just made the call. Wilson bowed out and Katz flopped trips on the [poker card="qd"][poker card="qs"][poker card="5s"] flop. The turn was the [poker card="5h"] and Klein was drawing dead to river. Klein, who started the day third in chips, fell in fourth for $97,500. Once again, Ausmus found himself on the bottom of the chip counts when three-handed play started. But it wasn’t long before he picked up a big pot off Katz and left the PokerGO founded with just four big blinds. The blinds were at 50,000/100,000 when Ausmus picked up [poker card="as"][poker card="ac"] in the big blind and put in a raise big enough to put Katz all-in. With just 400,000 total and 200,000 committed with the big blind and ante, Katz stuck the rest of his chips in with the [poker card="qh"][poker card="9s"] and saw the bad news. The board ran out [poker card="js"][poker card="6c"][poker card="3d"][poker card="8c"][poker card="3h"] sending Katz out in third place for $126,750. Wilson had a two-to-one chip lead over Ausmus headed into heads-up play and it appeared that both were trying to work out whether there was a deal to be made. But nothing was said and the pair played on. Slowly, Ausmus chipped away at Wilson’s lead. The tide really turned when Ausmus picked off a big bluff attempt by Wilson with bottom pair to assume the chip lead. Ausmus never looked back, widening the gap and opening a roughly six-to-one chip lead. On the final hand, Wilson moved all-in with the [poker card="ac"][poker card="4h"] and Ausmus made the call with the [poker card="qs"][poker card="3c"]. The flop came [poker card="kc"][poker card="8h"][poker card="4s"], giving Wilson bottom pair and hope for a double. But the turn was the [poker card="qh"], putting Ausmus way ahead. The river was the [poker card="jc"] and it was all over. Wilson earned a second-place score of $195,000 while Ausmus booked the win and a $263,250 payday. Side note: PocketFives Staking backers had 17% of Brock Wilson’s action - a roughly $25 stake yielded more than $330. Looking to start backing? Sign up right here. PokerGO Cup Event #4 Final Table Results Jeremy Ausmus - $263,250 Brock Wilson - $195,000 Cary Katz - $126,750 Bill Klein - $97,500 Justin Saliba - $78,000 Jesse Lonis - $58,500